Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lutheran Church Records in America

Information from online Family Tree Magazine:

"Subscription genealogy site has released its collection of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) birth, marriage and death records, which genealogists have been anticipating since announced the digitization project nearly a year ago.

The collections, appearing online for the first time, total nearly 4.6 million records from about 1,000 rolls of microfilm. The records date from the mid-1800s through 1940 and include births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, and burials.

You usually have to know which church your ancestors attended in order to request the record from the church or find it on microfilm. Because these ELCA records are indexed by name, though, you don't have to know the church before you start your search.

Details in the records vary by church, but they often include parents' names, dates and places of the event, and other biographical details. Many of the churches has concentrations of immigrants from Norway, Sweden or Germany as members—so the records could be the key you need to start researching ancestors in Europe."

Although is a subscription site, you can register for a free 7-day trial.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 26 Workshop

Suggestions for summer activities:

Stop at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City
Visit your ancestors' home town
Explore a cemetery
Use the Internet
Join a genealogy society
Start writing!
Begin (or continue) using a software program
Reread ALL your research notes

Monday, March 25, 2013

Irish Genealogy Seminar

We had good reports from members who attended the Irish Genealogy Seminar in Phoenix last Sunday. Both were impressed by the facility, the Irish Cultural Center -- McClelland Irish Library, which has a conference room and a library.

Talk to Nancy Archibald, Chris Dowling or Maureen Edwards about this experience.

Nancy Archibald provided a summary of the seminar and plans to copy the handout for use in our Ireland folder. She also suggests websites for those interested in Irish research.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blog Success Story!

This week the blog received a comment from someone who recently read Rick Wood's "member spotlight" bio that was posted last fall. Ultimately, this was a contact from a cousin who had just begun doing family research. The cousin used Google to search for Samuel Wood, whose name was included in Rick's story. This search turned up the info in our genealogy club blog!

Kudos to the power of Google. But it also shows that it could be worthwhile to get your own story posted here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meeting Report

Rick Wood's lecture on breaking down your brick wall gave us some good ideas to apply to our own research. Our number one rule: "Spelling Doesn't Count!" was addressed as well as other suggestions regarding names and naming patterns.

Another good idea: Remember to do FANs: Family, Associates and Neighbors. All are possible ways to trace your own ancestors.

Be sure to review your own research. Re-read notes you've taken and documents copied--the second or third reading might be the time you see something you missed originally!

Rick also suggested an interesting website:

This site gives the origin and meaning of first names. Also, if you check "name translator" on the home page, you can enter a name and find spellings used in other countries.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19 Meeting

Tonight we will listen to some tips on breaking down a brick wall. Seems as if everyone has one of those, and we should take advantage of any chance for a new idea or method.

I've had a chance to read the handout, and there is something for everyone! See you tonight.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Last week's workshop

Last week we all learned how to "read" a cemetery and post to Find a Grave. Trish did a great job of teaching the process for photographing tombstones, organizing the information, etc. This summer let's find a partner and a cemetery and "give back" to the genealogy community. And if you're not quite that ambitious, plan to post your family's tombstone photos.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Four free websites (courtesy of Family Tree Magazine) for searching Irish records:     Griffith's Primary Valuation was a valuation of property in Ireland between 1847 and 1864.    The National Archives of Ireland offers the 1901 and 1911 censuses for free.     This site is dedicated to Irish genealogy and tourism. You can search pre-1900 church records and view IF they've been digitized.    Don't forget to check the Irish collections here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Legacy Webinar

Calling All Irish and Scottish Researchers!

Legacy's webinar this week is called "Breaking Down Your Irish and Scottish Brick Walls." You still have time to register to watch in real time on March 13. Check the schedule at their website:

With the change to daylight savings time over most of the country, the time to watch here may have changed. As usual, you can watch for about 10 days following the presentation.

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 12 Workshop

Tuesday Trish Kelly is going to give us a 20-minute tutorial on "reading" a cemetery and posting the information on Find A Grave. We have talked about this website on other occasions; if you still have questions about the process or the website--here's your chance!

Trish will be available for additional help following her presentation.

We will have the router in place, so bring computers for practice searching various websites or for help with your software programs.

Writing Family History

Last week's meeting was well attended, and Nancy Archibald presented many ideas for those wanting to write their own or their family's history. She also had us participate in a few writing exercises. Several members brought examples of family histories written by or about their ancestors.

Thanks to all who shared those examples. One of the first things a person who is interested in producing a family book should do is take a look at other writings.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Irish Genealogy Seminar

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than by making a start on your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestral quest?

Choose your day to come, both events are the same:

Sunday, March 17, 2013, 9:30am - 5pm

Monday, March 18, 2013, 9:30am - 5pm

begins at 8:30am both days

Irish Cultural Center – McClelland Irish Library, 1106 North Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ
Tel: 602 864-2351


Registration Fee: $30 for Irish Cultural Center members, or $35 for non-members, Optional $10 for Lunch: Sandwich, chips, drink

Deadline for registration:
11 March 2013, or first 100 people for each seminar

Friday, March 1, 2013

Legacy Webinars

The Legacy webinar scheduled for March 6 is called "A Look at Wisconsin Genealogy Resources." Check the Legacy website at for the exact time. Remember, you can register ahead of time and watch it "live," and it will also be available for about 10 days following the Wednesday presentation.

The webinar scheduled for March 13 should also be helpful to many of our club members. "Breaking Down Your Irish and Scottish Brick Walls" arrives just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

Mesa Newsletter

The Mesa Family Search Library's March newsletter arrived via email yesterday. The March focus is on research in Canada, so it should be of interest to many of our members. Visit and click on the newsletter link. You can sign up to receive it each month.

The March issue contains a great deal of help for Canadian research, including the library's selection of books. I didn't realize they also have a research folder for each province.